Bernal in 2019
|Full name||Egan Arley Bernal Gómez|
|Born||13 January 1997|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||60 kg (132 lb; 9 st 6 lb)|
|Current team||Ineos Grenadiers|
Egan Arley Bernal Gómez (born 13 January 1997) is a Colombian cyclist, who rides for UCI WorldTeam Ineos Grenadiers.He won the 2019 Tour de France, becoming the first Latin American winner of the race.
Bernal was born in Bogotá, Colombia. He is the oldest child of Germán (an employee at the Salt Cathedral) and Flor (a flower factory worker), and raised in the nearby town of Zipaquirá. His father had been a keen amateur cyclist, and he started riding on a second hand bicycle at age five. At nine, against his father's wishes, he entered and easily won a race in his home town, the prize for which included a training scholarship.
He initially focused on and excelled at mountain biking, winning races in Brazil, Costa Rica, and the United States, and getting both silver (2014) and bronze (2015) in the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships junior cross country events.
Alongside mountain biking, Bernal had begun to gain success in junior road racing both in Colombia and Italy, winning the Clasica Juventudes Cajicaand the Sognando Il Giro delle Fiandre in 2015.
Bernal was signed by Gianni Savio to the Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec team on a four year contract, partly on the evidence of a VO2 max reading of 88.8ml/kg/min provided by his agent, Paolo Alberati.He began racing among seniors straight away, bypassing the usual U23 career route. In 2016, he obtained top 20 results in the La Méditerranéenne, the GP Industria & Artigianato, Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and Giro del Trentino, before winning the (then) lower level Tour of Bihor and coming fourth in both the Tour de Slovenie and the Tour de l'Avenir.
2017 saw top ten finishes for Bernal in the Vuelta a San Juan and the Tour de Langkawi.He later finished third overall in the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, second in the Giro dell'Appennino, and ninth in the Tour of the Alps. His first professional wins came in the Sibiu Cycling Tour, with two stage victories as well as the overall. He also won two stages and the overall title at the Tour de l'Avenir. Although he was still under contract to Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec and a contract buyout payment reported to be €350,000 was necessary, Bernal signed a five year deal with Team Sky from the 2018 season. He completed his time in Savio's team with fifth in the Giro della Toscana and top twenty places in Giro dell'Emilia, Milano–Torino and his first monument, Il Lombardia.
Bernal made his debut for Team Sky in the Tour Down Under as team co-leader, 20-kilometre (12-mile) climb on the last day.in which he won the young rider classification and finished sixth in the overall standings. In February 2018, Bernal won the Colombian National Time Trial Championships. He went on to win the first edition of the Tour Colombia (then called Colombia Oro y Paz), through an attack on the final
Bernal's next race was the Volta a Catalunya, in which he was second on general classification when he fell on a wet descent in the final stage, fracturing his clavicle and scapula.
The following month, Bernal competed in the Tour de Romandie, winning stage three of the race, an individual time trialand finishing second overall behind Primož Roglič. In May, Bernal achieved his first UCI World Tour win in the Tour of California, finishing over a minute ahead of Tejay van Garderen, and winning two stages.
In July, he rode the Tour de France as a domestique for team leaders Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. He was the youngest participant in the race, and was still able to drop many contenders in the mountains.
Bernal started his 2019 season in Colombia. He rode in the national championships and in his home stage race, the Tour Colombia. Bernal, however, was unable to defend his title in the race, finishing fourth overall. Bernal later went to Europe to compete in Paris–Nice. The Colombian impressed in the crosswinds, the individual time trial, and in the mountains, claiming the overall victory ahead of Nairo Quintana.
Bernal next finished third in the Volta a Catalunya, and was scheduled to lead Team Ineos at the Giro d'Italia until he broke a collarbone in a training injury in Andorra.He returned to racing for the Tour de Suisse, in which he won the overall classification and the queen stage.
Bernal was elevated to be co-leader of the team with defending champion Thomas for the Tour de France, because of the absence through injury of Froome. After the stage 2 team time trial he had a top ten position in the general classification, which he retained, despite an unimpressive individual time trial performance, into the three decisive alpine stages. An attack on the last climb of stage 18 saw him move into second place overall, ahead of Thomas, and he took the yellow jersey as race leader on stage 19 after an attack on the Col de l'Iseran. The stage was shortened because of landslides and a severe hail storm with 38 km remaining. Although the stage positions were considered null, times were taken at the top of the Iseran, putting Bernal in the lead with margins of forty five seconds over previous leader Julian Alaphilippe and one minute and eleven seconds over Thomas. He defended his lead on stage 20, another mountain stage, and confirmed his victory with the largely ceremonial ride onto the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
He thus became the first Colombian or South American rider, and second from the Americas,to win the Tour de France, and also won the best young rider competition. He is the youngest General Classification winner since 1909 and the third youngest ever at 22 years, 196 days. “It’s incredible, I don’t know what to say,” Bernal said. “I’ve won the Tour but I don’t manage to believe it. I need a couple of days to assimilate all this. It’s for my family and I just want to hug them. It’s a feeling of happiness that I don’t know how to describe it.” The young champion cyclist went on to say the victory was also for his home country of Colombia. “This is not only my triumph,” Bernal said. “It’s the triumph of a whole country.”
In early 2020, Bernal finished fourth at the Tour Colombia. After the coronavirus break, he dominated won the Route d'Occitanie, and finished second at the Tour de l'Ain. At the Colombian Road Race Championships, he claimed podiums in both the road race and time trial.
At the Tour de France, Bernal donned the white jersey from stage 7 to 12, stayed in the top 10 during most of the race, and was 59 seconds behind the leader after stage 14. However on stage 15 he dropped off and lost 7 minutes, and he left the race after stage 16.
|Grand Tour general classification|
|Tour de France||—||15||1||DNF|
|Vuelta a España||—||—||—||—|
|Major stage race general classification|
|Volta a Catalunya||—||DNF||3||NH|
|Tour of the Basque Country||—||—||—|
|Tour de Romandie||—||2||—|
|Critérium du Dauphiné||—||—||—||DNF|
|Tour de Suisse||—||—||1||NH|
|—||Did not compete|
|DNF||Did not finish|
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“I feel this is not only my triumph, but the triumph of a whole country,” Bernal said Saturday (via NBC). “ . . . It’s a great honor to think that I’m the one achieving this. My dad couldn’t talk at first, but when he managed, he congratulated me. He was about to cry. For us, it’s a dream. We used to watch the Tour on TV and we thought it was something unreachable. . . .
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